Hellboy: The Corpse

Quick Rating: Four Scooby Snacks!
Title: The Corpse

Isn’t it time for a Scooby Doo/Hellboy crossover? At least in the movies?

Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Mike Mignola
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Colors: Matthew Hollingsworth
Editor: Scott Allie

The Corpse has been billed as Mignola’s personal favorite Hellboy tale. This low-priced issue serves as a tie-in to the movie. In Ireland, Hellboy helps a family whose baby has been taken by faeries (not the bright and cheery Disney type). The thieves demand Hellboy buries their dead friend, a drunken gambler, in hallowed ground. Unfortunately, one of the fairies decides to complicate the task. The back of the pamphlet includes some information showing how the story fits with the movie.

I really like Hellboy. I walked by it many, many times before I gave it a try… all those wasted years…
But (everybody has a but) I find that I enjoy Hellboy the most in collected format. The world of Hellboy interests me. I like the interaction of the characters. I consider the artwork outstanding. But it’s tough to read just one. It just feels like you’ve walked in on the middle of something. I think it was T.S. Eliot who compared life to a cocktail party that’s already started when we arrive and we have to leave before it’s over. That essence of missed opportunity and baleful accomplishment seems to pervade Hellboy more than any other piece of literature created in recent years.

And now the movie stride onto the screen. –Dark Horse deserves credit for this effort at cross-promotion.– I look forward to it with trepidation. No film could be so dark (in color, let alone tone) as the comic books and still appeal much beyond the borderlands of the comic field. It may have a large opening, which usually means nothing for staying power or quality. (Do you remember Dungeons and Dragons?) That alone may be a pleasant surprise, but I hope for something that succeeds because it is good.

The again, just once I want to read or hear those wonderful words: “I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids… and that red guy with the really big hand.” It could be dark and yet light-hearted. It would have whimsy tinged with gore. It would be reassuring while you hide under your bed sheets late at night.

April, 2004

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